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Thread: Looking for technical references for Motorola Type-II SmartZone?

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    Default Looking for technical references for Motorola Type-II SmartZone?

    I am looking for technical references with regard to the RF modulation format and symbol generation employed in the old Motorola Type-II SmartZone
    3600 Baud systems and its variants. Perhaps TIA references? Have used the popular search engine but have come up empty.

    Any information on these systems would be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Bill


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    For a start, search the APCO link below for 3600 to find emission designators for the various channel bandwidths.

    It is a two level FSK . As far as any of the deep details, they are proprietary not Part of any standard. They have been reverse engineered. I had a 12M document that got into the details, but would be shocked to find it after these years.

    edit: I looked but could not find that old document. This is technology from early 1980's when Privacy Plus rolled out. There may be an old MAXIM, CML or MXCOM MODEM chip that supported this modulation and may give insight into the filtering. I can add that the signalling was slotted aloha for the uplink and was based on 23 millisecond slots.

    https://www.apcointl.org/spectrum-ma...n-designators/

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    RFI_EMI_GUY

    The link to the APCO site was very helpful! It triggered me to look check FCC License of the entity still using the Motorola Type-II SmartZone to look up the licensed emission types to cross-reference in my quest to understand the technical parameters in use on this old system.

    From the FCC Database I found that one of the emissions is 10K0F1E (Motorola Widepulse ASTRO simulcast voice) that confirms the digital voice trunk format that confirms
    simulcast operation. I am aware the control channel is 3600 baud, but am unsure of the vocoder type. Is it VSELP, if not, what did Motorola use?

    Bill

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    One other question in regard to the Motorola Type-II SmartZone systems. What specific FC features are required for say an XTL5000 to work with these old systems?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MotoBill View Post
    One other question in regard to the Motorola Type-II SmartZone systems. What specific FC features are required for say an XTL5000 to work with these old systems?
    You'll need H38 to work on a SmartZone system and Q173 if it's an OmniLink system.

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    I think the source code for the old "trunker.exe" DOS program that decoded the 3600 baud control channel is out in the wild. If you're looking for how the data is structured and that kind of thing, that's where I would start.

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    While Motorola sold some VSELP systems, they did not sell many. These systems used a 2 level FSK 3600 baud control channel and a 9600 bps 4 level voice channel which roughly? resembles the P25 CAI. All proprietary. If you can monitor a voice channel with P25 voice decoder and it is intelligble it would give you confirmation that it is IMBE. Otherwise it might be encrypted or VSELP. There may be tools like wire shark That would reveal secrets. You can always Google or wayback for old agency purchase orders or Motorola press releases.

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    I was able to get audio using DSD+ to listen to non-encrypted TG's albeit the quality was quite robotic. That said, being aa simulcast system the robotic audio was quite likely attributable bit errors due to the Widepulse modulation if this is the format used on this system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MotoBill View Post
    I was able to get audio using DSD+ to listen to non-encrypted TG's albeit the quality was quite robotic. That said, being aa simulcast system the robotic audio was quite likely attributable bit errors due to the Widepulse modulation if this is the format used on this system?
    On an old system like that wide pulse was the cure for wide site separations. It would not be LSM in any case.

    Linear simulcast has an amplitude component to improve the decoding of the data. From what I have learned, the carrier power goes to zero as the data passes through the origin on the constellation. The goal being to give the data a marker point.

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    Default VSELP

    Quote Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
    While Motorola sold some VSELP systems, they did not sell many. These systems used a 2 level FSK 3600 baud control channel and a 9600 bps 4 level voice channel which roughly? resembles the P25 CAI. All proprietary.
    For people curious about the VSELP "CAI", here's some insight I just found on the Net ;-)

    VSELP Motorola.pdf

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    Ah yes, VSLEP. If I remember right, didn't LAPD try out VSLEP and then said "We can wait for full P25" ?

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    VSELP, may it R.I.P.

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    I think it lives on in the DTR 900 MHz ISM radios. Motorola does not have to pay license fees to DVSI for VSELP.

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    Yup ! For those curious about the DTR, search for the MotoTALK protocol (8-FSK, 3200 symbols/sec, 3 bits/symbol). Keysight and the FCC have some interesting papers on it ;-)

    (It's the same physical layer between the Direct Talk mode of those iDen handsets and the DTR series).

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    That's taken from "Franks Radiorausch" - a very old and very awesome website from the glory days of SDR...


    Quote Originally Posted by RadioSkaf View Post
    For people curious about the VSELP "CAI", here's some insight I just found on the Net ;-)

    VSELP Motorola.pdf

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    Thanks for the info MattSR ! (For my part, it was the third google search result [QSL.net])
    I have taken a quick look at "https://sites.google.com/site/radiorausch/", and it's indeed full of cool stuff !

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    Does anyone know if you had to have separate TGID's for "Digital" vs. "Analog" on the Motorola Type-II SmartZone systems? If I were to "assume", then my assumption would be that you couldn't mix users on the same TGID's.

    Bill

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    Best of my recollection you can run same TGid on both analog and digital. I think what you are talking about is early APCO16 systems. Groups could not be mixed analog and digital but any ID can show up on either if equipped. So yes you can mix both analog an digital users on the system but an analog only radio can't talk to the digital radio unless the digital user switches to the analog TG.

    Unless of coarse an analog/digital patch was enabled then they could talk cross mode.

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